Box Office: New 'Star Wars' Crosses $300M at Record Speed in North America
The movie — relaunching the classic sci-fi franchise — achieves the milestone Tuesday at the North American box office.
J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: The Force Awakens is celebrating Tuesday by crossing the $300 million mark at the North American box office in only five days, the fastest in movie history.
The Disney and Lucasfilm release — rebooting the marquee sci-fi franchise in Jedi-like fashion — finished Monday with a domestic total of $288.1 million after a $40.1 million Monday, the biggest showing ever for the day. By midday Tuesday, its gross was north of $300 million.
Force Awakens continues to steal records from Jurassic World, which crossed $300 million in eight days, the previous fastest. (Due to the way box-office numbers are reported, Thursday-night previews are factored into Friday's haul, hence the countdown doesn't begin until Friday).
Box-office observers believe Force Awakens could beat the opening day of The Amazing Spider-Man on July 3, 2012 ($35 million) to score the biggest Tuesday of all time. Either way, it will overtake the entire domestic run of Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones ($310.7 million) by the end of the day, not accounting for inflation. Directed by George Lucas, Attack of the Clones was released in May 2002.
Among the other movies hitting $300 million in quick fashion, it took nine days for The Avengers (2012), 10 days for The Dark Knight (2008) and Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), 12 days for The Dark Knight Rises (2012) and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013), 14 days for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009) and Iron Man 3 (2013) and 15 days for Avatar (2009) and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011).
Force Awakens has obliterated a long list of box-office records. Over the weekend, it launched to $248 million domestically and $529 million globally, wresting the crown from Jurassic World, which opened to $208.8 million in North America and $524 million worldwide.
Abrams' sequel, set 30 years after the events of Star Wars: Episode VI — Return of the Jedi, features a strong female heroine in Rey, a young scavenger played by newcomer Daisy Ridley. Rey and a renegade stormtrooper (John Boyega) band together to challenge a rising evil that includes a new planet-killing laser cannon.
The film also stars Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Lupita Nyong'o and Domhnall Gleeson, along with original trilogy stars Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher.
At this rate, there's no telling how high Force Awakens will ultimately fly in terms of box-office revenue, since films over the year-end holidays can see huge multiples. James Cameron's Avatar opened to $77 million on the same weekend in 2009 on its way to becoming the top-grossing film of all time with $2.79 billion in global ticket sales, including $760.5 million domestically. And on the weekend before Christmas in 1996, Cameron's Titanic took in a mere $28.6 million on its way to grossing $2.19 billion worldwide.